He Said, She Said
Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Question: I am going abroad next semester, but my boyfriend is not. We don’t have any serious problems in our relationship, aside from the fact that we’ll be apart for six months. I don’t know whether or not it will be more or less distracting for both of us next semester if we went on a break. Thoughts?
He Said: More times than not, I feel like this ends up being a lose-lose situation. Either you decide to go on a break and spend the whole semester wondering if you could’ve managed to stay together, or you actually stay together and it either becomes too difficult or one person ends up cheating on the other. It doesn’t seem like one option works significantly better than any other. It really boils down to how much you trust the other person, and you have to really evaluate how committed you are to the relationship. If you’ve been together for a significant period of time without any serious problems then, while distance is obviously not going to be easy or pleasant, you should be able to overcome it if the relationship is worth it to both of you. On the other hand, if you’re having qualms about the relationship now, then you can rest assured that one of you being abroad is much more likely to make it worse than better.
One way to spin this whole problem into a positive is to use the time abroad as a kind of test of your relationship. Go on a break while you’re apart, and if after that much time away from each other you still find that you want to be together, then you know what the right move is. You have to give each other some level of freedom while apart in order to discover just how important this relationship is to you. It’s not going to be easy no matter what you do, but more than anything else, do not make a decision about whether or not to go abroad or where to go abroad based on a college boyfriend or girlfriend. Do what’s best for you, because this opportunity isn’t going to come by again. Let the rest work itself out after that.
She Said: Going abroad is always a difficult wrench to throw into a relationship. It’s a great time for you to grow and experience new things, but with your boyfriend still at Boston College, you guys could run into some problems relating to jealousy, cheating, or just not having enough time to talk to one another. If your relationship is going well and you see this being a significant part of your life, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a try and doing the long distance relationship for the few months you’re abroad. Of course, this could go both ways: you could maintain a happy relationship where you keep in touch when you can, or, depending on availability, you could talk very rarely. I know of relationships that have ended and ones that have lasted after one person, or both, goes abroad. What it really comes down to is how serious the two of you are about keeping your love afloat.
You should involve your boyfriend in figuring out the issue. Definitely don’t be hesitant to bring it up, because it’s something that matters to the two of you—both your present and your future. You need to know what page he’s on, because if you’re into staying together and he’s not - or vice versa - it won’t work. As much as this might sound cliche, this could be a great test for your relationship. Or it could be telling that you guys should go your separate ways. Whatever you decide, you need to talk about it so that both of you feel that no matter what happens, your opinions on the issue were heard.